I like the promo being put behind Initiate, the upcoming (April 13) album from the Nels Cline Singers. There’s a spiffy new front page at NelsClineSingers.com. And Cryptogramophone is running a contest: Answering a trivia question will make you eligible to win all four Nels Cline Singers CDs, a T-shirt, a tote bag, and a poster. (The only caveat is that the winners are being drawn on April 31. You might have to wait a while.)
(And no, they didn’t scrub the trivia question answer from the Web. Go scout around, and along the way, you’ll pick up some interesting names and facts from recent L.A. free-jazz history.)
For the uninitiated, the Singers are a singerless trio that plays a wide swath of outsider jazz. Cline’s guitar runs jazzy and jangly on some tracks, with shadows of prog rock here and there, but each album also tends to have at least one rockin’, indie-sounding instrumental, and at least one drifting, tetherless, seemingly formless piece. The rich variety is all the more reason to put out a double album — Initiate being a package of one studio disk and one live disk.
Cline’s on guitar, of course, with Devin Hoff — formerly of the Bay Area duo Good for Cows and a host of jazz projects — on bass, and versatile mercenary man Scott Amendola on drums. (Amendola has some interesting shows coming this week. More on that tomorrow.)